Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA The Bikini Beach Band - Leave Home
|This is bizarre. No, it's not bad lounge or cheesy exotica. But, as a collector of all things surf, I've often fantasized about surf covers of bad top forty, and worse alternative and obscure art rock. Examples of this kind of "brilliance can be found in Frankie Camaro's Dragstrip and their rendition of "Don't Fear The Reaper," the Wedge's "Physical," the Dream Syndicate's "Lonely Bull," or even the Neon Spores' "Swedish Rhapsody." When this arrived in my PO box, the titles titillated my sense of the absurd. Just behold "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nirvana), "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (Joy Division), or "Anarchy In The UK" (Sex Pistols). While this is stylistically closer to a credible Ventures than surf, it is one adventurous cover fest. Your next party will be like no other. The band are four brothers, Miguel Escavido - guitar, Ricardo Escavido - guitar, Juan Escavido - drums, and Esteban Escavido - bass. Mexican exiles lounging in the UK, or so the liners report. Like the alternative scene trained through a supermarket network, this UK band untangles the pomp of the self anointed and the commercial shallowness of the charts with their tongues firmly glued to the inside of their cheek. Little surf, maybe none, but the sheer absurdity is worth a spin. There are two vocals, which place this CD squarely in the lounge camp, a no-value version of "Secret Agent Man," and a lame rendering of "Fever." At least it's not Dick Dale.|
Picks: Mission Impossible, Gimme Gimme Gimme / Smells Like Teens Spirit, Love Will Tear Us Appart, Motorcade, Lounge Wetsuit, Suburbia, Anarchy In The UK, Popcorn, Music To Watch Girls By, Some Might Say, A Design For Life
Track by Track Review
Television Spy (Instrumental)
This television theme is slightly updated, but retains the cheese whip intentions of Lalo Schifrin, right down to the period bongos. Cool, but I think I'd not place it at the head of the CD as track 1
Gimme Gimme Gimme / Smells Like Teens Spirit
Twisted Billboard Morph (Instrumental)
Here's where the gray matter begins to swell. The fluffy treatment of Kurt Cobain's billboard hit says all that's needed about the self-righteousness of grunge, especially when sandwiched between slabs of "Gimme Gimme Gimme." Concrete turned to Jello. It's a beautiful thing.
Depression Fluff (Instrumental)
This is a masterpiece of morphology, from the gloomy mindset of Joy Division to the froth of supermarket swill with surf tones and impossible Lawrence Welk-isms.
Billboard Fluff (Instrumental)
Commercial pomp gone awry, and they seem serious. Think Billy Vaughn doing "Mr. Moto." Yikes.
Lounge Lizard Suave (Instrumental)
Like an interpretation of west coast jazz from the pages of Beachwear Daily, comes this unbelievable bit of vibes laden fluff. It is the inverse of reality, mirrored by the rubber room. Swimming and MOR exotica cute.
Dinner Music (Instrumental)
Yup, the hits just keep on comin'. There's no shortage of piano bar thinking as they romp through this delightful dinner music.
Dinner Music (Instrumental)
Fluid, tropical, and completely inverted. Not like Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoia, but like a gaggle of guys in white dinner jackets playing to a Democratic fundraiser in DC where only the insincere are invited. Seriously puffed, completely breezy. Just think, this is what punk has come to. maybe this sums it all up.
Theater Snack (Instrumental)
This is surprisingly close to the Hot Butter rendition, only more so... maybe like a frothy "Miss You" (Rolling Stones) played at the laundromat. Jeepers!
Pulchritudinal Viewing (Instrumental)
When this appeared in the television commercial, it tantalized. When the T-Bones did this, it sucked. Now, it wreaks of CTI jazz on the verandah while the snobs hob knob in a credibility free zone.
Cool Pop (Instrumental)
Whining guitar slides, and a spirited, almost credible arrangement, and hinting of the hits gone by we all love to hate. Actually, this is among the better tracks, more surfable, though only in that sidestep Ventures way.
Retirement Rock (Instrumental)
Inspired by a mustached interlude and a carafe of house red, this floats along looking for a sane way out. There isn't one.